2011 March 05 Saturday
Why Less Teen Sex?

Fewer kids are doing it.

The study, released Thursday, is based on interviews of about 5,300 young people, ages 15 to 24. It shows the proportion in that age group who said they'd never had oral, vaginal or anal sex rose in the past decade from 22 percent to about 28 percent.

Why? A few hypotheses:

  • Sucked into virtual worlds. Teens spend less time physically with others.
  • Pressure to study.
  • More structured time. Less time free.
  • Less physically attractive kids due to rising obesity.
  • Lower male sex drive due to rising obesity's effect of lowering testosterone.

A change in brain metabolism due to obesity is quite plausible. The theory is that abdominal fat cells contain an enzyme that converts testosterone to estradiol.

In males with increasing obesity there is increased aromatase activity, which irreversibly converts testosterone to estradiol resulting in decreased testosterone and elevated estrogen levels.

You might want to use this as another motivation to improve your diet and exercise. Lower serum testosterone ("T") comes along with many other undesirable metabolic changes when the fat builds up.

It was found that with increasing BMI, levels of serum leptin, triglycerides, insulin, the ratio high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol/low-density liporotein (LDL) cholesterol, the waist circumference (WC), the area of visceral fat and systolic/diastolic blood pressure were higher, whereas insulin sensitivity (HOMA) and serum T were lower.

But what about Facebook and instant messaging? Does the virtual world eat up so much time that less time is available for socializing in person? Does this reduce teen sex?

If obesity lowers testosterone is it also lowering the crime rate? Arrested guys get more sex. Girls really do prefer bad guys.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2011 March 05 11:27 AM  Human Nature Mating

kurt9 said at March 6, 2011 11:17 AM:

I thought this was the case. About 6-7 years ago, the young girls liked to dress up in bare mid-rlft tops, low-rider jeans, and sported navel piercing. Yet, I always thought it was all show and no do. Girls do not flash themselves like that unless they feel safe from guys. Today, the girls dress much less flashily.

I think all of your hypothesis are correct.

The obesity is bad. The overall decline in teen sex is not a bad thing.

no i don't said at March 7, 2011 11:34 AM:

Yeap, The U.S. is turning into a land of well behaved kids. Yuck!

What happended to all those middle schoolers secretly taking porno magazines and showing them to a few classmates in a hidden corner of the school? Hmmm, maybe too many goddamned cameras not allowing humans to behave like humans.

Hey, by the time kids reach middle school they all should turn into little perverts; it comes with puberty, it's healty and normal. I certainly hope all these kids are not having first-time sex until they reach "legal" age to have it. Poor things!

no i don't said at March 7, 2011 11:37 AM:

I tend to agree more with the first three hypotheses. Although all 5 are good hypotheses

Check It Out said at March 8, 2011 2:21 PM:

I think boys nowadays don't want to even tell that a girl is good looking because they are frightened of being labeled as harassing criminals.

Engineer-Poet said at March 11, 2011 5:14 PM:

Who needs porno magazines?  They just tweet links to each other, share files via Skype, and do other things without leaving their bedrooms.

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